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Sale 72

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Lot 4030

Sicily, Syrakuse. Agathokles, 317-289 BC. Silver Tetradrachm (17.0g) struck ca. 305-295 BC. KOPAΣ. Head of Persephone right, hair wreathed in grain leaves and loose down her neck, wearing pendant earring. Reverse: AΓA[ΘOKΛEIOΣ]. Nike (Victory), naked to waist, standing slightly right, holding hammer in right hand, nail in left, affixing helmet to trophy of arms; to right, triskeles. SNG ANS 665; Gulbenkian 331. A magnificent example with an extraordinary artistic rendering of Nike. Lustrous. Superb Extremely Fine.

Agathokles, tyrant of Syrakuse (317-289 BC), spent much of his reign in conflict with the Carthaginians. This elegantly styled tetradrachm, issued around 300 BC, bears the name of Agathokles on the reverse, where it accompanies a graceful standing figure of Nike. The symbolism probably relates to Agathokles bold invasion of Africa, where he almost succeeded in capturing Carthage itself. The type is curiously similar to a contemporary issue of Seleukos I, Nikator at the eastern end of the Greek world, though whether one or the other served as a prototype is unclear. The obverse features a head of Persephone who is named Kore (Maiden) in the inscription behind. Her substitution for the usual Arethusa head would seem to be part of Agathokles' attempt to unite the various Sicilian Greek factions under his leadership.
Estimated Value $5,000 - 7,000.
The Hunter Collection.

Realized $23,000

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